A new high-tech skills centre will use real-world ‘simulations’ to train NHS staff in Scotland, it was revealed today.

The NHS Scotland Academy Skills and Simulation Centre at Clydebank’s Golden Jubilee University National Hospital will harness modern technology to train clinical workers.

The custom-built centre provides state-of-the-art training and education facilities to practitioners including an array of advanced simulators.

Designed and run by the NHS Scotland Academy – a partnership between NHS Education for Scotland and NHS Golden Jubilee – the centre replicates real-world environments where learners can hone their skills in a safe, controlled setting.

The system works whereby data is displayed on monitors from a nearby control room, allowing clinicians in the theatre to respond to the information on the screen.

During its first year of operation it’s expected that the centre will train more than 800 healthcare staff, helping to accelerate training for in-demand areas of the NHS workforce.

For example, nurses will be able to develop their operating theatre skills, previously learnt in a year, in just six months. The centre will also support large scale diagnostic training for Endoscopy and other vital clinical skills.

Health Secretary Neil Gray, who visited the centre today, said: “Harnessing the latest technology is an important part of our plan to reform and recover Scotland’s NHS. It’s exciting to see how the innovations in the Skills and Simulation Centre will be used to accelerate training skills by providing unprecedented hands-on experience.

“The NHS workforce is our greatest asset and that is why it’s so important to invest in their training and development. Quicker and more effective training will help to improve diagnostic accuracy and therefore patient outcomes as well as address workforce pressures and aid retention of staff across NHS Scotland.”

Kevin Kelman, director of NHS Scotland Academy, learning and innovation said: “We are absolutely thrilled today to welcome the cabinet secretary to formally open our brand new Skills and Simulation Centre as part of the NHS Scotland Academy. 

“As the healthcare landscape continues to evolve, the NHS Scotland Academy remains committed to fostering innovation and excellence in health and social care education. The launch of the Skills and Simulation Centre reaffirms its position at the forefront of medical training, empowering the future NHS workforce to deliver safe, effective and person-centred care to all.”

The advanced simulation training will significantly enhance the National Endoscopy Training Programme which has already seen more than 3,000 patients receive treatment while providing hands on training and experience for healthcare staff.